After several schools closed Tuesday due to smoky conditions, at least one district official confirmed several sites would face delays and possible full closures Wednesday as fires continued to spread throughout the Mountain Area.
Randy Seals, Superintendent of the Bass Lake Joint Union Elemenetary School District (BLJUSD), confirmed Tuesday evening that all sites in the district, inclduing Wasuma Elementary, Oakhurst Elementary, Oak Creek Intermediate, and Fresno Flats Day School, would be put on a two-hour delay Wednesday morning, for both buses and classes.
“We have a number of staff on evacuation or evacuation advisory so we may be short-handed first thing in the morning,” Seals said of the potential for parents to bring their kids to schools before work. He said that, unfortunately, wouldn’t be allowed.
Seals said staff would assess conditions in the morning for a possible full closure of any schools in the district.
Cecelia Greenberg, Superintendent for Yosemite Unified School District, said Oakhurst-area schools in the district would also be on a two-hour delay, due to a combination of road closures, evacuations, power outages, and air quality issues.
That included Yosemite High School which was closed Tuesday, all alternative education sites and adult ed programs, and John Muir North, she said.
The district’s southern area schools (Rivergold and Coarsegold elementary, Raymond-Granite High School, and John Muir South), would resume at normal hours, Greenberg said. Students will stay inside at all sites and all outdoor games and practices are canceled.
Chawanakee Unified School District Superintendent Darren Sylvia said classes would resume as normal at all sites, including North Fork Elementary and Minarets High. All of the district’s campuses were closed Tuesday.
Michelle Townsend, Superintendent for Raymond-Knowles Union Elementary School District, said classes would continue as normal at the district’s elementary school, as they did on Tuesday.
Oakhurst Community College Center classes would go on as normal, director Darin Soukup said.
Yosemite-Wawona Elementary Charter School, located in Wawona inside Yosemite National Park, has canceled classes from Tuesday through Friday.
Smoky conditions were expected to remain throughout the week due to ongoing fires in North Fork (Mission Fire), north of Oakhurst (Railroad Fire), and Mariposa (Peak Fire).
Anyone with sensitivity to smoke is advised to remain indoors with the windows closed, and avoid outdoor activities if possible.
Smoke is typically strongest in the morning, air quality officials said.